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Notes and worksheets:Sentencing and criminal offencesnoverdsentencing-and-criminal-offencesnoverd.docx


You be the judge - sentencing 

Case study - Norma Stokes 

Offence: Causing serious injury by dangerous driving


The 80-year-old mowed down eight schoolgirls.

Norma Stokes, of Allerton, Liverpool, seriously injured five of the girls, leaving one with brain damage, after she became “confused and befuddled” and put her foot on the accelerator instead of the brake of her Peugeot 107.


The churchgoing grandmother demolished a bollard, mounted the kerb, drove nearly 400ft along the pavement and crashed into the pupils, aged 11 to 16, who had just left Belvedere Academy in Toxteth in February. 

Witnesses described the scene as like something out of a disaster film, with members of the public rushing to lift the car off one of the girls.

The carnage only ended after Stokes ripped off the open doors of a school bus and hit two more parked cars. 


The defendant pleaded guilty to five counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving Norma only lives off her state pension of £100 per week.


Watch the first video clip about the above offender to decide what the sentence should be using the sentencing guidelines. Create a short speech explaining why you have passed this sentence lasting 30 seconds.


The verdict


Norma Stokes received a two-year jail term, suspended for two years, and a life driving ban.


Further background


An official review already under way, the Older Drivers Task Force, which reports next month, is expected to recommend that the age at which pensioners have to renew their licences be raised from 70 to 75, “because people are healthier and living longer”. 

The report will say that older drivers are generally safer than those who are younger. Motorists are currently legally obliged to declare any disabilities which could affect their driving when they turn 70 and confirm that they can still read a number plate at 70ft. They must then reapply for their licence every three years.



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